Kenai Central’s Wade James battles for the ball during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central’s Wade James battles for the ball during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Clear it, and they will come

The Kardinals boys soccer team played and won their first match Thursday against Dimond High School on a field neighbored by feet of snow.

The Kardinals notched a 4-0 victory off two goals by James and one each by Aloshia Cross and Sawyer Vann.

Kenai coach Shane Lopez credited the City of Kenai Streets Department with clearing the field and getting soccer, as well as baseball, softball and track, outside.

“Coming out here and doing this is not something that they have to do, but they’re out here looking out for our kids in our community,” he said. “Some 40% of our student body population is out here on the track every day being able to improve their skills much better than they can just in a gym.”

Lopez said that because of the turf material that makes up the school’s field, once it’s cleared it gets warm and dry faster than the rest of the surroundings.

Thursday, the field was clear, but snow surrounded it on all four sides, rising up over and onto the bleachers.

Lopez said the athletes hardly notice the winter conditions. “They’re just glad to be out playing,” he said. “We’re not really paying attention to the snow until they’ve gotta climb over the top of it to go find a soccer ball. They’re just happy to be outside.”

Kenai also will host a soccer jamboree today and Saturday.

Kenai Central and Dimond players race for the ball during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Central and Dimond players race for the ball during a soccer game at Ed Hollier Field in Kenai, Alaska, on Thursday, March 30, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

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